Archive for January, 2015

What’s in a Name?

Thanks for following along on my blogging journey! I’ve been trying to think of some fun tidbits to write about and tonight I decided to explain where the name of my blog comes from.

It started when I turned 16 and got my driver’s license. I was fortunate enough to have a car – a third-hand red Escort station wagon – and my parents let me choose what I wanted on the license plate. Of course, I opted for a vanity plate and submitted several different options to the state. The one I received was  “CTRY GL 7” – for “country girl.” The “7” was because an all-letter plate was more expensive!

I don’t remember what other words I submitted, but the Country Girl plate fit me just fine. In fact, it also fit my younger brother, who inherited the car when I was done with it and didn’t want to go to the hassle of changing the plates!

Fast forward about 10 or so years. I had an opportunity to do some freelance magazine work, writing and photography, and decided to form my own business to be more professional about the whole thing. I didn’t want to just use my name, and I wanted something versatile that wouldn’t tie me into just photography or just writing. I kept coming back to “Country Girl” and added “Creations” because I liked the way it sounded and it represented what I was trying to do.

Around the same time, my mom gave me a challenge: take pictures of objects around the farm that resembled letters and spell out words like “family.”

Family

The first letter print I made. This one hangs in our home, along with a couple others I’ve made over the years.

I took that challenge and began to look for letters all over the farm. I’ve built up a gallery of all 26 letters at least once, most in multiples, and sell custom framed pictures of names and words. They make unique gifts for weddings and other special events, and I’ve even used items special to people to make truly one-of-a-kind items.

A co-worker commissioned this piece for her parents. She brought in her dad's lasso and other personal items for several of the letters. I love the way it turned out!

A co-worker commissioned this piece for her parents. She brought in her dad’s lasso and other personal items for several of the letters. I love the way it turned out!

It’s a fun hobby and one I hope to put more time into as Little C gets older and more independent. Maybe she and I can even look for new letters together!

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A Little Less Sparkly

Today our house is little less sparkly. I took down our Christmas tree for another year. It always makes me a little sad to take off all the special ornaments and pack everything away in the big white box for the next 11 months or so.

A new dress for the Sunday before Christmas. Her favorite part? The sparkly red shoes. We have definitely gotten our money's worth as much as she's worn them since!

A new dress for the Sunday before Christmas. Her favorite part? The sparkly red shoes. We have definitely gotten our money’s worth as much as she’s worn them since!

But at the same time, I’m amazed at the extra space I “found” that is already filled with all the toys and books Little C received for Christmas. It looks like someone dropped a Toys R Us bomb in our toy room. Every year I think I’ll find the right system to keep everything organized, and every year I find one or two things that work, but so far I don’t have the magic combination. I’d love to hear what works for you, if you have found one!

Checking out what's in the "big sock!"

Checking out what’s in the “big sock!”

I didn’t write much this month – not because I didn’t have material, but because we were BUSY! Plans every weekend, extra fun things to do around the holidays, and several projects at work kept me on my toes. It was worth it, though, to watch the holidays unfold through the eyes of my daughter. Seeing her joy at the Festival of Lights, hearing her laugh with delight at her new toys, and watching her interact with family members made it all worth it.

"You mean I can rip this paper and not get in trouble?"

“You mean I can rip this paper and not get in trouble?”

We had our normal busy schedule with seven different Christmas celebrations to attend, but this year the timing worked out that they were spread out from Christmas Eve through the 27th (which was also my birthday!) so we didn’t have to rush around much and could actually spend time visiting instead of worrying about when we had to leave to get to the next place. We woke up Christmas morning in our own beds and Little C was able to experience Santa for the first time when all the gifts appeared under the tree while she slept. She doesn’t “get” Santa yet but she definitely knows who he is and that he says “Ho, Ho, Ho!”

Big C and Little C testing out her new mini Pillow Pals!

Big C and Little C testing out her new mini Pillow Pals!

I hope you had a blessed Christmas time with those who matter most to you, and that you’re ready to start 2015 with a bang! I’m proud to say I did stay up last night until midnight, although by 11:00 I was REALLY ready to call it a night! Funny how staying up late gets harder and harder the older you get!

I’m thankful for each of you who takes the time to read this blog, and I hope to continue to make it worth your while in the weeks to come!